Webber takes advantage from Vettel’s misery to win in Hungary

Mark Webber scored his fourth Grand Prix victory of the season at the Hungaroring after benefitting from his team-mate’s penalty. The Australian now leads the world drivers’ championship while the Red Bull Racing team heads the constructors’ standings as Formula One heads into the summer break.

His drive on the softer option tyre was highly impressive. As for his team-mate Sebastian Vettel, the pole sitter was penalised with a drive-through penalty that cost him a certain victory. The German was left angry over this penalty and in the end had to settle with third, chasing Fernando Alonso to the chequered flag.

By scoring a great result in Red Bull Racing’s one hundredth race in Formula One, Webber now heads the championship with 161 points, four ahead of Lewis Hamilton – who had to retire with technical problems.

The Australian was bundled down to third on the opening lap behind his Red Bull Racing team-mate Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari.

But a combination of a perfect strategy call from his pit crew and some exceptional speed in the RB6 helped Webber to beat Alonso to the flag by 17.8 seconds.

The key to Webber’s victory was the deployment of the safety car on lap 15, which allow the track marshals to recover debris from Vitantonio Liuzzi’s front wing between Turns 13 and 14.

While most drivers pitted for their mandatory tyre changes, Red Bull Racing decided to leave the Australian out on track and move into the lead.

As the race resumed Webber led from Vettel, Alonso, Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren and Felipe Massa’s Ferrari. The Australian was aware he needed to pull out enough of a gap to enable him to make his single pit stop under green flag conditions.

His challenge was made easier when team-mate Vettel was given a drive-through penalty for failing to keep within ten car lengths while behind the safety car, which dropped the German to third behind Alonso.

When Webber did eventually make his tyre change – on lap 43 – he had built up a lead of over twenty-three seconds. The Australian was able to rejoin the race still with four seconds in hand over the Ferrari.

As for Lewis Hamilton, by this stage of the race the McLaren driver was out with a suspected gearbox failure. That retirement means he has surrender his lead in the championship to Webber, who now has a four-point advantage.

Finishing in fourth was Ferrari’s Felipe Massa. The Brazilian was unable to match the pace of the leading trio and at the flag was 27.4 seconds adrift from the race winner.

Vitaly Petrov drove a sensational race in his Renault as he took a career-best fifth place, one position ahead of his 2009 GP2 Series title rival Nico Hulkenberg.

Hulkenberg’s Williams team-mate Rubens Barrichello held sixth for quite a while but made his tyre change late which dropped the Brazilian down the order.

The Saubers of Pedro de la Rosa and Kamui Kobayashi finished in seventh and ninth respectively in between the McLaren of world champion Jenson Button, who had an awful opening lap.

As for Michael Schumacher, the seven-time world champion was on course to finish in tenth, but came under late pressure from Barrichello, who had far fresher Bridgestones in the latter stages of the Grand Prix.

The Brazilian closed onto the gearbox of his ex-Ferrari colleague and looked set to pass the Silver Arrows heading down to Turn 1 with a few laps left.

Coming out of the final corner, Barrichello got the slipstream from the Mercedes but Schumacher was quite aggressive in defending by squeezing his rival up against the pit wall. This incident was very dangerous but Barrichello held his nerve and took the final points position. An investigation will be made by the race stewards over that move by Schumacher.

Another driver who had the speed to finish in the top ten was Renault’s Robert Kubica. But unfortunately his race was compromised by a pit lane collision with Adrian Sutil while the safety car was out.

It was an unsafe release by the Renault pit crew and as Kubica accelerated, he was hit hard by Sutil’s Force India, who was turning into his own pit box.

Robert continued but was given a ten-second stop/go penalty for causing the incident. The Polish driver decided to pull out altogether a few laps later.

As for Sutil, his car was badly damaged and had to retire out on the spot. Nico Rosberg was also out after losing a right-rear wheel that left him stranded at the pit exit.

The only other retiree was Jaime Alguersuari, who pulled his Scuderia Toro Rosso off the track with smoke pouring from its engine bay on the second lap.

So a great result for Mark Webber. This race victory was crucial to his title prospects and the Australian should be proud of his achievements at Red Bull Racing. The RB6 is the class of the Formula One field and it will be fascinating to see if Ferrari and McLaren can close the performance gap after the summer break.

Race results from the Hungaroring, 70 laps:
1.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault           1h41:05.571
2.  Alonso        Ferrari                    +17.821
3.  Vettel        Red Bull-Renault           +19.252
4.  Massa         Ferrari                    +27.474
5.  Petrov        Renault                    +1:13.100
6.  Hulkenberg    Williams-Cosworth          +1:16.700
7.  De la Rosa    Sauber-Ferrari             +1 lap
8.  Button        McLaren-Mercedes           +1 lap
9.  Kobayashi     Sauber-Ferrari             +1 lap
10. Barrichello   Williams-Cosworth          +1 lap
11. Schumacher    Mercedes                   +1 lap
12. Buemi         Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +1 lap
13. Liuzzi        Force India-Mercedes       +1 lap
14. Kovalainen    Lotus-Cosworth             +3 laps
15. Trulli        Lotus-Cosworth             +3 laps
16. Glock         Virgin-Cosworth            +3 laps
17. Senna         HRT-Cosworth               +3 laps
18. Di Grassi     Virgin-Cosworth            +4 laps
19. Yamamoto      HRT-Cosworth               +4 laps

Fastest lap: Vettel, 1:22.362

Not classified/retirements:
Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes             25 laps
Kubica        Renault                      25 laps
Rosberg       Mercedes                     17 laps
Sutil         Force India-Mercedes         17 laps
Alguersuari   Toro Rosso-Ferrari           2 laps

World Championship standings, round 12:

1.  Webber       161
2.  Hamilton     157
3.  Vettel       151
4.  Button       147
5.  Alonso       141
6.  Massa         97
7.  Rosberg       94
8.  Kubica        89
9.  Schumacher    38
10. Sutil         35
11. Barrichello   30
12. Petrov        17
13. Kobayashi     17
14. Liuzzi        12
15. Hulkenberg    10
16. Buemi          7
17. De la Rosa     6
18. Alguersuari    3

1. Red Bull-Renault          312
2. McLaren-Mercedes          304
3. Ferrari                   238
4. Mercedes                  132
5. Renault                   106
6. Force India-Mercedes       47
7. Williams-Cosworth          40
8. Sauber-Ferrari             23
9. Toro Rosso-Ferrari         10

Next race: Belgian Grand Prix, Spa-Francorchamps. August 27-29.

16 thoughts to “Webber takes advantage from Vettel’s misery to win in Hungary”

  1. The top three drivers’ views on the Hungarian Grand Prix. Taken from Autosport.com.

    Mark Webber conceded luck was on his side during the Hungarian Grand Prix after taking a commanding victory on Sunday.

    The Australian, starting from second but losing the place to Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso at the start, benefited from a safety car period to take the lead and then put on a superb performance in the middle stint to emerge ahead of his rivals after his mandatory pitstop.

    Before that, Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel looked set for victory, before the German was penalised for leaving too big a gap between himself and the Australian during the safety car period.

    “A bit of a gift for me today, I haven’t had many but I will take it. Tough luck for Seb,” said Webber, who scored his fourth win of the season.

    “It’s an incredible day for the team. A one-two was our goal but unfortunately we didn’t get that, but still a big chunk of points.”

    The win allowed the Australian to move into the championship lead once again, four points ahead of McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton.

    Despite his championship situation, Webber said the team is staying cautious.

    “To maximise your opportunities is always good, irrespective of what happens to our rivals,” he said. “We are not getting ahead of ourselves. There are some big races coming up, all different challenges for us and technically for the cars.

    “It’s nice to have a few more points than other people but we are not getting ahead of us ourselves.”

    Webber admitted he was not expecting to win the race judging by how the start of the first laps unfolded, but he said it was not easy victory.

    “Unless Seb had a technical problem, he was on pole, he was leading the first stint and unless he mad a mistake it was probably his race,” Webber said. “Second was on the cards and I could get it but this is racing and sometimes it happens.

    “Most of my other victories have not been gifted to me. Seb lost two positions and in the constructors’ we lost some point, but I am not complaining – you have to take them when you get them. I still had to do the job today. Not easy to get it right.”

    Fernando Alonso says the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend should act as a warning to Ferrari that it still needs to find a lot more speed, even though he was able to fend off Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull for second.

    Red Bull dominated the entire Hungaroring event, although Vettel’s penalty for not staying sufficiently close behind his race-leading team-mate Mark Webber during the safety car period meant Alonso was able to get between them in the results. He had also managed to split them off the line, although Webber’s decision to postpone his pitstop allowed him to jump the Ferrari.

    “We were clearly slower than both of them all weekend,” said Alonso. “It was no surprise in the race.

    “We felt very slow today compared to them but thanks maybe to the layout of the track and difficulties to overtake we were able to stay consistent and finish in second. It’s good for us but we know we need to improve race pace and qualifying pace. This time we were not quick enough to fight with Red Bull so we need to be realistic about what we did.

    “It’s a fantastic result on Sunday but overall we need to push and to keep improving the car as we saw this weekend.”

    The Spaniard said he had gone into the race believing anything better than third was unlikely.

    “Third place was our deserved place,” said Alonso. “We have been third mainly in free practice, Q1, Q2 and Q3 so third was what we expected from the race. The car did a very good start today to arrive first into the first corner so I nearly had the chance to overtake both Red Bulls, but in the end it was not possible, just enough to put myself second.

    “I tried to pit and to secure second place and then Mark did a fantastic first stint, 40 laps with soft tyre and no problems at all, that maybe surprised us and we were not quick enough to make our strategy work. When you have the pace advantage that Red Bull had then any strategy works.”

    He reckoned Red Bull’s speed advantage was such that on a more overtaking-friendly track, Vettel would have easily reclaimed second.

    “We had 40 laps with Vettel behind, one second or two seconds quicker than us,” Alonso sad. “The layout of the circuit helped today – on a normal circuit it would have been impossible to maintain second.”

    Sebastian Vettel believes that the Hungarian Grand Prix would have been “a walk in the park” for him were it not for a drive-through penalty that dropped him to third place.

    Vettel led the race during the early stages, but fell to second behind his Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber when he made his mandatory tyre change during a safety car period on lap 16.

    Upon the restart, Vettel dropped more than 10 car lengths behind Webber, which is not allowed under the the current safety car rules, and was given the penalty that lost him any chance of victory.

    “At the restart, I was sleeping,” Vettel said. “I know I was relying too much on the radio, but early in the race I lost the radio connection, so I couldn’t hear anything.

    “I saw the SC boards and was waiting for instructions, so I didn’t see the lights [go out] on the safety car. Usually, when the safety car comes in, the leader tries to drop back and dictate the pace, but Mark was very close.

    “I was just warming up my car. I was sure we had another lap. Then I saw Mark at the last corner and the safety car going into the pits, so I knew it was a restart. I lost a lot of time there, which was not the intention. And then I got the drive-through.

    “I didn’t understand what was going on and why I was penalised,” said Vettel. “It was a question mark for me, I didn’t understand until someone told me why after the race.

    “It’s pretty unlucky, because it would have been a walk in the park without that. Still, we saved a podium.”

    Vettel’s result moved him up one place to third in the world championship and leaves him only 10 points behind new leader Webber with seven races remaining.

  2. Lewis Hamilton admitted that his retirement from the Hungarian Grand Prix was a significant blow to his title bid.

    The erstwhile championship leader’s McLaren had a gearbox failure while running fourth early on at the Hungaroring, and with Mark Webber winning the race, Hamilton is now four points behind the Australian in the standings.

    “That’s racing and we just have to work very hard to catch up,” said Hamilton. “We’ve lost a lot of points today. That’s the second time this year.

    “Hopefully we can work very hard so in the next few races we don’t have any problems.

    “It doesn’t help for sure, but there’s nothing you can do. We always do a phenomenal job normally. It’s a shame to have the fault here at this point of the year, but that’s life.

    “This is motorsport, when you’re pushing the cars to the limit these things can happen. We just have to go away and try and learn from this.”

    Hamilton said the failure happened very suddenly.

    “I literally was in Turn 1, was accelerating and had this weird vibration,” he said. “It felt like the driveshaft went, but it was the gearbox.”

    Source: Autosport.com

  3. Williams driver Rubens Barrichello has slammed his ex-Ferrari colleague Michael Schumacher as “crazy”. The Brazilian was unimpressed by Michael’s driving during the race. Autosport.com has the story.

    Rubens Barrichello slammed Michael Schumacher’s driving during the Hungarian Grand Prix as ‘horrendous’ after the pair nearly crashed.

    Williams driver Barrichello came within inches of touching the pit wall at around 300 km/h after Schumacher swerved to the right as the Brazilian tried to overtake along the main straight.

    The duo came very close to making contact and Barrichello had to put part of his wheels on the grass to avoid a crash.

    The Brazilian nonetheless passed Schumacher for tenth and went to score a point, but he was unimpressed with his former team-mate’s driving.

    “I have a lot of experience and usually with a crazy guy like that I would lift off, but not today, absolutely not,” Barrichello told Spanish network La Sexta right after the race.

    “I think it has been one of the most beautiful manoeuvres I’ve done and one of the most horrendous from him. At the end of the day we don’t need that.

    “To stop for three years and then come back and do something likethat, we don’t need it.”

    He added: “What I’m saying is that it wasn’t not necessary. The safety car came out at a time when it didn’t help me, but it was a great race. I’m happy.”

    Schumacher shrugged off the incident, however.

    “This is F1,” Schumacher told Italian television RAI when questioned about his move.

    “I think I left him too much room because he passed.”

  4. As for Michael Schumacher’s views on the incident, the German defended his driving. Autosport.com has the details.

    Michael Schumacher refuted claims of “horrendous” and “crazy” driving from Rubens Barrichello after the pair nearly came together during the latter stages of the Hungarian Grand Prix.

    With three laps remaining, Williams driver Barrichello moved alongside Schumacher’s Mercedes on the run to the first corner, only for the German to squeeze him against the pit wall.

    While the pair did not touch, and Barrichello completed the pass, stewards announced that they would investigate the incident after the race.

    But Schumacher was adamant that he had done nothing wrong.

    “We know certain drivers have certain views and then there is Rubens,” said Schumacher, speaking to the BBC.

    “As a driver, you have the ability to change the line once. That’s what I was driving to. Obviously there was space enough to go through [because he did]. We didn’t touch, so I guess I just left enough space for him to come through.

    “I’m known not to give presents on the track. If you want to pass me you have to fight for it, and so it was [here].”

    Schumacher said that his lack of pace compared to Barrichello during the closing stages was down to his tyres having completed 55 laps whereas Barrichello’s had little more than 10 laps worth of wear.

    “There is not much to say other than he obviously had fresher tyres and my job was to get the last corner spot on,” added the seven time world champion.

    “I had a line of about five centimeters that I had to hit and that lap I obviously ran a little wide and started sliding, so my exit speed was a bit compromised.

    “I knew that he was coming so, from my point of view, I was moving over to the inside to make it very obvious and clear to him ‘go on the other side, there’s more space for you.’ He didn’t choose to, so it got a bit tight.

    Schumacher, who finished 11th, said that he did not expect to receive a penalty as a result of the incident.

  5. Renault has been fined $50,000 for the unsafe release of Robert Kubica during a pitstop at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

    The Pole was involved in an accident with Force India’s Adrian Sutil, who crashed into the Renault after the team released Kubica when the German was diving into his pit slot.

    Sutil was forced to retire then and Kubica continued only to retire eight laps later.

    Kubica was given a 10-second stop-and-go penalty during the race, and Renault was fined by the stewards after the event.

    Mercedes was also fined $50,000 for the unsafe release of Nico Rosberg, the German losing a tyre as he drove back into the pitlane following his pitstop.

    The Williams mechanic hit by the flying wheel from Nico Rosberg’s car escaped serious injury after the incident during the Hungarian Grand Prix.

    Rosberg’s right rear tyre became loose right as the German Mercedes driver was joining the pitlane following his pitstop.

    The wheel careered down the pitlane and knocked down Williams’s pit crew member Nigel Hope.

    Hope sustained some injuries but returned to resume duties for the second stop of the race following a precautionary visit to the medical centre.

    The Mercedes team was fined $50,000 for the unsafe release of Rosberg.

    Source: Autosport.com

  6. The Sauber team celebrated a double points finish at the Hungarian Grand Prix with seventh and ninth. Pedro de la Rosa express his views to Autosport.com about the result.

    Pedro de la Rosa was elated with his performance at the Hungarian Grand Prix after Sauber’s first double points finish of the season.

    The Spanish driver, who had started the race from a season-best ninth position, went on to finish in seventh for his first points of the year.

    It was also his first finish in the points since the 2006 season.

    De la Rosa said Sauber deserved the result for the progress it has made in recent races.

    “I am extremely happy and I am especially happy for the team who deserved a good result for all the hard work in developing the car so much further,” said de la Rosa. “After the start is was difficult for me but then the safety car came out at a good time and the team did a good job calling me in.

    “My pitstop went very well and afterwards it was more or less about keeping position. My car was okay during the race although I can see several things that we can learn from.

    “We came here and did not expect too much on this slow circuit and now we have finished with both cars in the points for the first time this year.”

    Team-mate Kamui Kobayashi finished in ninth position for the first double point-scoring finish of the year for the Swiss squad, which was taking part in its 300th GP.

    “This result for the team’s 300th grand prix is just great and a big relief,” said team boss Peter Sauber. “It was a fantastic effort from the drivers and the team who all did a fantastic job. Congratulations to everybody.”

  7. Michael Schumacher will lose ten places on the starting grid for the Belgian Grand Prix after being penalised for his driving in Hungary.

    The German and Williams driver Rubens Barrichello came very close to crashing after Schumacher pushed the Brazilian against the wall on the main straight as the Brazilian attempted to pass.

    The move angered Barrichello, who slammed Schumacher’s move as ‘crazy’ after the race.

    Schumacher himself said he had done nothing wrong.

    The FIA stewards penalised the seven-time champion as he had “illegitimately impeded car 9 during an overtaking manoeuvre.”

    The Mercedes driver will lose ten places on the grid in the next race in Belgium.

    Source: Autosport.com

  8. Vitaly Petrov’s fifth-place finish at the Hungaroring was the perfect result for the Renault team. It had been rumoured that the Russian driver needs to step up his performance in order to justify his seat at the team next season. This fifth-place finish was the ideal response. Autosport.com has the details.

    Renault declared itself delighted with Vitaly Petrov’s performance in Hungary as the Russian rookie delivered a career-best fifth place, having qualified seventh.

    The result rescued Renault’s weekend after team leader Robert Kubica was released into the path of Adrian Sutil’s Force India in the pitstops and ultimately had to retire as a consequence. The team was also fined over the incident.

    But Renault’s chief race engineer Alan Permane said the squad could still take a lot of pleasure from the grand prix thanks to Petrov’s drive.

    “It was an excellent drive from Vitaly today with good pace and consistency,” said Permane. “He made a great start and did well to get ahead of [Nico] Rosberg, which was our target, and after that he was able to pull away from him comfortably.

    “From then on he drove a faultless race and he can be very satisfied with his performance across the entire weekend.”

    Team boss Eric Boullier added: “We scored a lot of valuable points today, but just as important is the fact that Vitaly has had a superb weekend. He finished the race in fifth, which is obviously an excellent result.

    “It’s even more satisfying because Mercedes didn’t score any points today, so we have made up ten points on them.”

    Petrov was equally thrilled with his achievement.

    “I feel wonderful because we did everything almost perfect today,” he said. “I made a good start and managed to pass Rosberg and [Lewis] Hamilton into the first corner, which was our target.

    “After that, I didn’t try and block Lewis too much because I had a problem with my tyre warm-up. I lost a lot of grip and I was fighting the car. I decided to let him through rather than risk losing more positions.

    “The points today are very important for us because Mercedes didn’t score any.”

  9. Rubens Barrichello says he will not talk to Michael Schumacher about their Hungarian GP incident, because the Brazilian feels it will not change anything.

    Schumacher was given a ten-place grid penalty for the next race after pushing Barrichello towards the pitwall when both were doing around 300 km/h and the Williams driver was attempting to pass his former team-mate.

    Barrichello came within an inch of hitting the wall and had to put his wheel on the grass to avoid contact.

    Schumacher said he saw nothing wrong with his move, but accepted the penalty for Spa.

    Barrichello, who drove alongside Schumacher at Ferrari, said he is not planning to speak to the German, as he feels the seven-time champion will still believe he is right.

    “No, and I won’t – because it won’t resolve things,” said Barrichello when asked if he would speak with Schumacher. “You know Michael – you talk to him and he will always feel that he is right.

    “I just think I am a just guy, and justice was made today in a way because I think he has been stopped three years and he didn’t change a thing. He is still the same guy.”

    Barrichello believes he was very lucky to have avoided a big accident.

    “If we touched there, then to be honest with you I think he would flick over and go into the wall head on,” he said. “So it was more of a danger for him.

    “I couldn’t move any more to the right because the wall was there, and if you take a photograph of the wall and us there is not [enough room for] a hair in there. It is unbelievable.

    “Then you can see that I had to move it back because I went through the grass and so on. I am very glad and very lucky that we are here to talk, honestly.

    The Williams driver said it was the worst defensive driving he had ever seen and reckons Schumacher was “carrying something from the past” in the move.

    “I would say so. I would say it is probably one of the worst because first of all you would not expect after so many races for someone to do that.

    “You would expect someone with 10 races to do that kind of thing. But for him, who has been through so many things. He is carrying something from the past that it just not necessary today. I just think that it was a loose moment for both of us.”

    Q&A with Rubens Barrichello: http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/85815

  10. Ross Brawn has defended his Mercedes GP driver Michael Schumacher over that racing incident with Rubens Barrichello. Autosport.com has the story.

    Mercedes GP team boss Ross Brawn has insisted that Michael Schumacher did not make any deliberately dangerous movements when trying to block Rubens Barrichello in the Hungarian Grand Prix.

    Schumacher will have to take a 10-place grid penalty at Spa as a punishment for impeding the Williams driver, who squeezed through a narrowing gap between the Mercedes and the pit wall to take 10th place.

    Brawn was adamant that Schumacher’s driving was within acceptable limits.

    “Pretty tough – a tough move by Michael and a tough decision by the stewards,” said the team chief.

    “I don’t think for a moment that Michael was trying to put Rubens in the wall – but he was trying to discourage him from coming down the inside because he thought that was where he would be vulnerable.

    “But at the end of the day he gave him enough space. You can argue that it was marginal but – tough racing.”

    Brawn believes Schumacher was caught out by Barrichello getting alongside him so soon after the exit of the final corner and had not been trying to deny him space.

    “Later in the manoeuvre you can see he moved away from Rubens, I don’t think he expected Rubens to be exactly where he was at that time because it is a sort of manoeuvre that happens when you enter a corner not that far up a straight,” said Brawn.

    “Rubens got a very good run out of the last corner with his new tyres so I think there is lots of way arguing it – but these things happen in a fraction of a second.”

    He added that he was certain there was no dangerous intent in the move.

    “It may have ended up in a dangerous way but that wasn’t the intent I am sure by Michael,” Brawn said.

    “Michael was defending his position, trying to encourage Rubens to go around the outside. I don’t think for a moment that he saw Rubens there and thought ‘I will squeeze him’.

    “But it is a pretty tough business F1 and if you open up every time someone tries to attack you then you know the drivers in F1 who don’t defend and those that do.”

    He also denied any suggestion that Schumacher’s driving had been particularly brutal because Barrichello was an ex-team-mate.

    “Certainly not from Michael’s perspective!” Brawn replied when asked if the ‘history’ between the two drivers had been a factor.

    “Michael didn’t comment on that. I know Rubens has commented on the history between them, but Michael hasn’t at all. It is obviously something that is paramount in Rubens’ mind.”

  11. Mark Webber says there is still everything to play for in this year’s championship following his Hungarian Grand Prix win.

    The Red Bull driver moved into the top of the championship standings thanks to his fourth win of the season, and he is now four points ahead of McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton as the Milton Keynes squad continues to capitalise on its superior pace.

    Although Red Bull was in a different league at the Hungaroring, Webber insists the title battle remains wide open as Formula 1 heads into the summer break.

    “It’s good to be leading the points standings, but there are still a lot of chapters to come in this world championship battle, said Webber on his website.

    “The top five drivers are separated by 20 points, which is nothing. It’s the equivalent of just eight points under last year’s points system.

    “There’s everything to play for, but not until I’ve turned my phone off and had a couple of weeks’ holiday! I’ll be in touch again before Spa.”

    Webber, who benefited from a safety car period to take the lead of Sunday’s race, admitted his victory had been pretty easy in the end.

    “It feels great to go into the summer break on the back of a win,” he added.

    “I had to drive what was effectively a three-part race because I didn’t pit for tyres when the safety car came out early on, but the strategy paid off and I won the race pretty easily in the end.”

    Source: Autosport.com

  12. Even though Sebastian Vettel took his seventh pole position of the season, the German has yet to take advantage of this to straight-forward race victories. Red Bull Racing team-mate Mark Webber has won four Grands Prix and now leads the drivers’ championship. Even the team has said that Sebastian should not feel depressed by this as reported by Autosport.com.

    Sebastian Vettel has been urged not to get disheartened by his continued frustrations in Formula 1, after a mistake behind the safety car in Hungary cost him victory and the chance to lead the world championship.

    Team principal Christian Horner believes that Vettel should concentrate on the positives from a weekend when Red Bull Racing was the dominant force.

    “He’s obviously frustrated after this race, but he wears his heart on his sleeve,” said Horner. “You could see on the podium he was desperately disappointed, but it’s part of a learning curve.

    “There are seven races to go, he’s scored a lot of points compared to some of his rivals here, and it’s a great team result. First and third has given us great points going into the summer break.”

    He added: “He can take a lot of heart from the fact he scored a lot of points and one of his main rivals in Lewis didn’t score, Jenson scored very few. We took a massive amount of McLaren in the constructors’, and it was a great team result.

    “Mark [Webber] drove an absolutely outstanding race. We gave him a target, we said ‘look, you need 20 seconds’, and he went out and delivered it.

    “He even found time on the radio to say he enjoyed lapping Michael. It was an awesome performance.”

    Although Vettel was deeply disappointed with the result, Horner believes the German should channel his emotions into something positive.

    “Unfortunately here didn’t go his way, but he’s had a black cloud following him for most of the season,” he said. “It’s all about the points at the end of the year, and we’ve Mark leading, with Seb right up behind Lewis, and the target is very much to get both ahead, and to try and stretch our lead in the constructors’.

    “Part of the emotion is what makes him so strong, and he obviously has to channel that into the car.

    “We’re very fortunate we’ve two very committed, very charged drivers, and that’s one of the strengths of this team.”

    Horner also thinks that Red Bull’s result in Hungary, which lifted the team to the head of the title table, has given his the squad a big morale boost ahead of the summer break.

    “We’re now coming to tracks where engine power will play a significant role in Spa and Monza,” he said. “But it was important for us to have achieved a big result, which is what we have managed.”

    Horner denied any talk that Vettel had been ordered to hold Fernando Alonso up behind the safety car, and reckons the matter boiled down to driver error thanks to problems with the radio.

    “We’d had a few radio issues with Seb where it wasn’t clear if he could fully hear us or not, which is why I spoke to him a couple of times in the race.

    “But he knew he had made a mistake because he immediately radioed his engineer. It was one of those things that for whatever reason caught him out.

    “What would have been a relatively comfortable victory turned into a third place, but on a day when Lewis didn’t score any points and Jenson scored very few.

    “So it’s a great team finish with a dominant victory and third.”

  13. Mercedes GP driver Michael Schumacher has apologised to his ex-Ferrari team-mate and friend Rubens Barrichello over that aggressive move during the closing stages of the Hungarian Grand Prix. Autosport.com has the details.

    Michael Schumacher has apologised to Rubens Barrichello for his driving during the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday.

    The seven-time champion was given a ten-place grid penalty for the Belgian GP after squeezing Barrichello against the pitwall on the main straight as the Brazilian tried to pass him during Sunday’s race.

    The move angered Barrichello, who was critical of Schumacher’s driving.

    Schumacher said after the race that he did not feel he had done anything wrong.

    However, on Monday (August 2) the Mercedes driver said he agreed with the stewards’ decision and apologised to Barrichello if the Brazilian felt his driving was dangerous.

    “Yesterday (August 1), right after the race I was still in the heat of the action, but after I watched the incident with Rubens again, I must say that the stewards were right with their assessment: the move against him was too hard,” Schumacher wrote on his website.

    “I wanted to make it hard for him to pass me. I clearly showed him that I didn’t want to let him pass but… I wasn’t seeking to endanger him with my move. If he feels I was then I’m sorry, this wasn’t my intention.”

  14. Former F1 driver Derek Warwick says Michael Schumacher came close to being disqualified from the Hungarian Grand Prix.

    Warwick, who joined the stewards’ panel for the Hungaroring race, said the reason why Schumacher was not black-flagged for his move on Rubens Barrichello was because there was no time left in the race.

    “Throwing a black flag would have shown a better example to our young drivers,” Warwick told BBC’s Radio 5 Live.

    “But by the time we got the video evidence we ran out of time and we had to do it retrospectively.”

    Schumacher was given a 10-place grid penalty for the next race in Belgium for illegitimately impeding Barrichello.

    Warwick said he had been disappointed by how Schumacher had handled the affair when interviewed after the race.

    “We interviewed Rubens and Michael and it was kind of disappointing how Michael handled it, and we had no option but to give him a 10-place penalty,” added Warwick.

    “If we had enough laps [we could have disqualified him] but you have to have video evidence and make sure all four stewards are in agreement.”

    He added: “You have to view the evidence you have and you could disqualify him from the next Grand Prix, or two Grands Prix.

    “But we felt a 10-place penalty is a big penalty to carry for Spa. It kind of puts him out of the race at Spa, and hopefully he will learn from that and remember that the new stewards will not tolerate that driving.”

    On Monday (see comment above) Schumacher apologised to Barrichello for his move.

    Source: Autosport.com

  15. Seven races remain in this season’s Formula One World Championship and Stefano Domenicali – boss of Scuderia Ferrari – believes that anything is possible with five drivers separated by twenty points as the end of the Hungarian Grand Prix. Autosport.com has the story.

    Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali believes anything is possible in this year’s championship battle, despite the performance advantage of Red Bull Racing.

    The Milton Keynes-based squad has moved into the lead in both championships after dominating the Hungarian Grand Prix, where it was clearly faster than all of its rivals.

    Red Bull is now 74 points in front of Ferrari, third, while Mark Webber has a 20-point advantage over Fernando Alonso.

    Domenicali reckons however that the speed of the Red Bull does not guarantee the team will dominate the rest of the season.

    “For sure if you look from the beginning they were consistently faster than anyone else,” said Domenicali. “At certain grands prix, like Turkey, Spain, they were able to be faster, more than one second, and here I think was the maximum gap.

    “Then we had a couple of races, like Valencia, Canada, Silverstone, where the gap was smaller, so I think that for sure this is our objective.

    “In order to fight for the championship we need to do the maximum we can in terms of development, score the maximum points today and, as we saw [in Hungary], anything is possible and anything can happen to anyone.”

    He believes things are likely to change significantly on tracks like Spa or Monza, where downforce is not as crucial as in Budapest.

    But Domenicali admitted the team is staying cautious nonetheless.

    “As I said, one week ago we were there and this week we were more than one second behind so we need to be prudent, we need to understand and try to find more downforce everywhere.

    “For sure the conditions of Spa and Monza at the next two grands prix will be totally different and we need to see what will be the combined effect of the different aero configuration plus the different aero configuration of the track.”

    The Italian also praised the performance of his drivers in Hungary, following a difficult week for the team because of the team orders controversy.

    “After such a focus on us this week, it is great to see the performance of our drivers,” he said. “It is very good.

    “Fernando did a fantastic race he was able to keep a car that was faster for a long time of the race, and Felipe did a fantastic race, he was able to have a great performance and able to show how he is as a man, as a driver after such a crash and that he is really deserving to be part of our Ferrari family.

    “For sure we have seen a Red Bull that was on another planet today, it was too strong for us and in the second and third sector they were flying, considering the gap in performance we have seen this weekend it was really the maximum result that we could have obtained.”

  16. Sadly I missed most of this race, since I was packing the car for our hols. Well and packing my case at 0 hours lol!

    So that meant missing the pit stop debacle and Shuey pushing Rubins a little too much…….(understatement of the season?)

    But having seen both incidents later, all I can say is wow. What useless tool was in charge of Renault’s lollipop? And thanks to rushing the tyre change, Mercedes caused a tyre to rush and bounce down the pitlane narrowly missing so many pit crew. But thanks to the open opportunity for so many cars to come into the pits, the pit-lane was rammed, and so the tyre did end up hitting a crew member. What a farce! quite rightly, both teams were fined, as it was deliberate moves by both to try and get the edge over rivals.

    Having not seen the Michael Schumacher move on Rubins till much later in the week, I didn’t know what to expect when I got chance to see it on YouTube ( in London with this here blog creator ! ). Well, hmmmm. I dont know what move Shuey was talking about, but it wasn’t this one! He’d said he gave Rubins room!?!? What 10mm? Yeah that’s fine Micheal. Nice and safely does it eh? To do it with grass on one side is one thing ( eh Mark Webber? 🙂 ). But to push a driver soooo close to a god damn concrete wall with a pit exit at the end of it? You’ve got to be kidding. Thats was totally insane. If someone had be coming out of the pits, then I shudder to think what could of happened. One can only assume a great chance of death. Sorry matey, it WAS crazy.

    Now, that’s all well and good, and well, typical Shuey. However, whats not all well and good is his punishment. A car gets released in front of another car, and a rushed tyre change equaled a $50,000 fine. Yep fare. They were relatively dangerous actions. But this!? A near 150mph+, potential death accident waiting to happen with no proper reason? OK so if there was time Shuey would have been blacked flagged. Good. A very dangerous move would have been fitfully punished. So ZERO points for the driver. Fine.
    But since there was no time to serve this, then for the next race, he’s

    A) Allowed to take part
    B) Gets a 10 place drop?!

    Are you kidding me!!? WTF! How do you get to the conclusion that you would ban the driver from the race for an incredibly dangerous move , but since it’s effectively over, that turns into a small slap on the wrist and you chuck him down the grid a few places? Which by the way is the same punishment you get if say a gearbox fails from the end of practice to the start of a race when the cars just stood still for 24 hours!!
    That’s fair? That’s a reasonable procedure? What would of happened if Shuey got points at the end of the race? What if it was a move for first position? He’d really be able to keep those points just because they ran out of time to punish? Jesus Christ of F***ks! Mental.

    But anyways, Mark gets yet another win!! WOW what a second rate driver who has consistently out performed (well, certainly recently and has come from a little way back) the “darling” No.1 who cannot even keep his space to the safety car right! Something that WILL have been discussed at some point, so he would have known and so should never have “done an Alonso” and cried like a moaning bitch. Sorry matey, you aint good enough again this year…..LOL yeah at just 24 he’s just not good enough to be the greatest FORMULA ONE this year, but blooming close :D.

    So not only has Webber overtaken his team mate, but is now the Championship leader! Woop woop!!

    As I’ve said before, if there’s a right way to argue your point at being prematurely demoted from being equals or ( if he even had a chance at ) having the No.1 spot, it’s to do it on the track; thereby greatly embarrass your boss and team owner in front of the entire F1 world. Brilliant Mark, and I cannot believe being an Aussie, I’m supporting him. But credit were credits certainly due, the team may have nosed dive in my respect for them, buy you sir have more than made up for a sicking display by a team which was beginning to be my fave.

    After the recent events, it may not quite be you and them like it was, but in my mind, it most certainly is. To be honest, I still think it is a Seb Vettel team. So keep it up and win that damn championship and stuff it in the face of Mr Horner

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